5/11/2019 7:30:00 AM Woodruff man charged in online child sex sting
By River News Staff
A 20-year-old Woodruff man is facing felony charges after he allegedly used a computer to arrange a sexual encounter with an undercover sheriff's detective posing as a 15-year-old female.
According to a criminal complaint filed May 8, Bradley A. Hilmer has been charged with attempted sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age and using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.
According to the complaint, Hilmer responded to an online ad posted last month by an undercover Oneida County detective posing as a 15-year-old girl named Riley.
Eventually, the conversation between the person believed to be Hilmer and the undercover detective moved from the online application to text messaging via cellphone, the complaint states.
Throughout the conversation, the undercover officer represents himself as a 15-year-old female from Three Lakes and notes that "she" does not drive, the complaint states. The officer also provided a photo of a female after the person believed to be Hilmer requested an image. According to a transcript of the conversation included in the complaint, after receiving the photo, Hilmer complimented "Riley" and began asking if they could meet to engage in certain sexual acts.
At certain points in the conversation, the person believed to be Hilmer tells "Riley" that he "got into trouble before," was on probation and doesn't want to go to jail. In addition to asking for a photo, on at least one occasion he called the phone number the undercover officer was using, presumably to check if a female would answer, the complaint states.
A female officer took the calls and advised Hilmer that she could not talk because her mother was nearby.
Eventually, the undercover officer and the person believed to be Hilmer arranged to meet in Three Lakes to have sex, but Hilmer was later forced to cancel due to transportation issues.
Approximately 10 days later the undercover officer used the same "Riley" persona on a social media application and a person believed to be Hilmer responded. Eventually, the two discussed meeting at a location in Minocqua to have sex.
Finally, on the evening of May 6, officers arrested Hilmer outside a Minocqua area convenience store. He had arrived on a bicycle and was carrying a backpack containing condoms and sexual aids.
In an interview with investigators, Hilmer stated he understands it's wrong to meet a 15-year-old for sex but believes he may suffer from sex addiction.
According to court records, Hilmer completed a three-year probation sentence last month related to a 2016 conviction on two counts of sending obscene email messages. In that case, Hilmer was accused of transmitting inappropriate photos to minor females and attempting to arrange to meet them in secluded areas for sex.
Hilmer made his initial appearance on the new charges Wednesday afternoon before Oneida County Circuit Judge Michael Bloom.
Bloom set a $5,000 cash bond with conditions that Hilmer have no contact with anyone under 18 or possess any device that can be used to access the internet.
A preliminary hearing in the case was scheduled for May 14.
If convicted, Hilmer faces a maximum of 60 years in prison.
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